Should Joe Flacco be on the Ravens’ Roster?

Is Joe Flacco elite? That’s the debate that raged on after Flacco helped the Ravens win the Harbaugh Bowl in 2012. While Flacco’s regular season was average, his playoff run was amazing, throwing 11 TDs and 0 Ints in four games. Whether or not you thought he was elite, the Ravens did. And to prove it, they gave him a 6 year, $120 million contract. Since then, he has a record of 38-36 with one playoff appearance. He’s thrown 79 TDs and 52 Ints. He’s thrown for 4000 yards in his career only ONCE. Certainly not numbers that warrant a 6 year, $120 million contract. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Ravens decided to give him a 3 year, $66 million extension in 2016, signing him through 2021. This year, Flacco accounts for over $24 million, or 14% of the Ravens’ cap.

So if his contract is so expensive and he’s not performing, why don’t they release him? With the Lamar Jackson pick, they are clearly looking to reset. Why not do it now? Well, the issue is that cutting Flacco creates $28.75 million in dead cap space. So, they end up losing $4 million by cutting Flacco. If they wait until next season to cut him, then he creates $16 million in dead cap and accounts for $26.5 million of the cap space. So, the Ravens can save $10 million.

So, even as Joe Flacco inevitably stumbles through this season with mediocre stats, football fans should know that the Ravens really don’t have any choice but to keep playing him. Cutting him hurts the team. Their best option is to play him and hope that he is able play well enough that maybe he can be trade bait. That’s their best hope of dumping this massive contract. Getting rid of Flacco not only gets rid of a below average quarterback, it gets rid of the reminder of a horrible mistake 6 years ago. Flacco isn’t the long term answer. Clearly, people in the building think Lamar Jackson is. The sooner they can hit the reset button and start fresh, the better. But unfortunately, that won’t be this season.


-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)

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